Mo Homeless Youth Bills Filed
In the 2020 Session, Legislators plan to tackle issues related to the homeless in Missouri. Ongoing will also be the work of the Governor’s office with the Missouri Governor’s Committee to End Homelessness. The common goals of the legislative and executive branches will continue to focus on the causes, needs and solutions of Missouri’s homeless individuals, families and veterans.
As of January 2018, Missouri had an estimated 5,883 citizens experiencing homelessness on any given day, as reported by Continuums of Care to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). Of that total, 706 were family households, 507 were Veterans, 534 were unaccompanied young adults (aged 18-24), and 1,043 were individuals experiencing chronic homelessness.
Public school data reported to the U.S. Department of Education during the 2016-2017 school year showed that an estimated 32,133 public school students experienced homelessness over the course of the year. Of that total, 578 students were unsheltered, 2,827 were in shelters, 2,021 were in hotels/motels, and 26,707 were doubled up.
The Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education’s website states that according to the McKinney-Vento definition of homeless, the term of “homeless children and youth” means individuals who lack a fixed, regular, and adequate nighttime residence…; and includes children and youths who are sharing the housing of other persons due to loss of housing, economic hardship, or a similar reason; are living in motels, hotels, trailer parks, or camping grounds due to the lack of alternative adequate accommodations; are living in emergency or transitional shelters; are abandoned in hospitals; and children and youths who have a primary nighttime residence that is a public or private place not designed for or ordinarily used as a regular sleeping accommodation for human beings…; ie: children and youths who are living in cars, parks, public spaces, abandoned buildings, substandard housing, bus or train stations, or similar settings.
Pre-filing of bills for the 2020 legislative session began Monday, December 2. Three of the bills I pre-filed for this session will address homeless youth initiatives with a fourth related bill soon to be filed. The legislation centers around older youth, who meet the definition of homeless, to be able to access vital records, health care, schooling and employment.
Please contact my office at 573-751-5388 or e-mail at Patricia.Pike@house.mo.gov for more information on this topic or assistance on State Issues, Flags, Resolutions and Capitol visits. Our District 126 Legislative Assistant is Matt Glover at Matthew.Glover@house.mo.gov and our office is open Monday through Thursday from 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. year-round in Jefferson City, MO.